The Vintage Doll

Written by Heide Brandes in the February 2014 Issue

The Vintage Doll, Mimi LaRue, is adorable in a 1950s-style pink and white dress, white stellar heels and flesh-toned hose with that iconic black seam down the back.

The Vintage DollHer lips are as red as cherries and her eyes flutter with that cat-like swoop of liquid black eyeliner. But it’s her hair that ties the whole look together. For three hours, Mimi curls, sprays, pins and again curls her hair until it becomes the perfect, jaunty rolled style that women favored in the early 1950s. Then she poses for pictures, and her whole rockabilly pinup girl persona comes alive.

She flirts with the camera, pouts, smiles and ooh!s when she poses. She’s just simply adorable, with a dash of sexy and a big ol’ pinch of sassy too.

What’s funny is that she is like this every day. The pinup model persona is more than an act to Mimi LaRue—it’s a lifestyle. She goes to places like Target dressed like this, and people love her for it. In fact, on her Facebook page, more than 300,000 people have come to love her in just three short years. Now Mimi is on a mission to give every woman, teenage lady and young girl the confidence to love who they are.

“The style I teach on my page helps women see that beauty isn’t just one body type,” said Mimi.  “You don’t have to change anything to be pinup because it fits all body types. Be who you are. You are beautiful exactly the way you are.” Armed with killer heels and a manicured coif, Mimi wants to change the world, one shy girl at a time.

Rockabilly & Pinup

“Pinup girls” refer to the modern day women who adopt the 1920s to 1950s pinup style of sexy-yet-sophisticated. They appear friendly, don’t reveal too much and the culture is making its way back to the forefront of pop culture.

 “I discovered the lifestyle when I was 16, and I fell in love with it—the cars, the greaser hair, the girls in skirts,” said Mimi. “I grew up with my grandma, and she told me stories about being a teen in the ‘50s, and I just connected with it.” At 16, the quiet little shy homeschooler fell in love with a whole new look and lifestyle. She studied everything she could about it and found a group of friends who also embraced the rockabilly culture.

“It is a lifestyle, not just a fashion,” she said. “The 1950s were all about hard work, being honest and genuine and kind. I like the morals of the decade, and I live those morals. There was a certain lightheartedness about the 50s.”

For three years, Mimi quietly pursued the new lifestyle, learning all she could. When her son was one year old, she finally got brave—starting her Facebook page. Then, using the timer on her camera that was propped up on her son’s stroller, she took a series of pinup photos of herself. Although the page was up, the traffic was low and the site sat quiet for about a year.

 “It wasn’t until I got my first photo shoot that the traffic picked up on my page,” said Mimi. “Now I share tips about the lifestyle, make-up and hair, But I also share things that give women the strength they need to take on the world. Now, I get 500 messages in my inbox, and I try to answer every single one of them.”

The Vintage Doll“I never thought I’d be a model or an inspiration, so it blows my mind that people think I’m cool enough to follow,” Mimi says. “My page now has women, little girls and teens who follow me. I teach women how to develop a pinup wardrobe on a budget and give tips, but I also teach body acceptance and self-love.” With so many followers, Mimi is now an inspiration for women around the globe. Posting pictures and stories that women send to her, she helps connect women to each other in a pinup community.

“I never thought it would be as big as it is now,” said Mimi. “I’m just a mom. Just a real girl. But if I can do something and share something that gives other women strength and confidence, you’d better believe I’m going to do it. I just love it—it’s the bee’s knees.”

Featured in magazines and also writing a few columns for magazines such as Lash & Ink and Pink Bow Cities, Mimi has now become a leader in the pinup lifestyle. “I don’t do it for money. I live this way, so I just don’t know how not to do it,” she said. “I would like to take what I’m doing and show others that they are worth something. Women don’t need to let anyone steal their beauty from them. Whether you’re 98 pounds or 300, you are beautiful.”

Follow Mimi on Facebook at “The Vintage Doll.”

3 Comments

Chelsea Smith Says:
February 3rd, 2014 at 1:07 pm
This is my best friend && every word in this article is truer than true can be. She truly embodies everything that a pinup should embody. The class, the sass, the love of all women. I absolutely adore her && without her I wouldn't have started to embrace my own body && discover my inner pinup. I'm so proud of you Emily!
Love,
Chelsea
aka Tootsie Pop :)

Barbie Taylor Says:
February 3rd, 2014 at 3:11 pm
Mimi LaRue is a true inspiration to all her fans & Friends! She is a true beauty; not only on the inside but out!! She has a wonderful personality and is kind and sweet. She is like she said in this article a real down home girl who loves her family, friends, fans and the life style....she shares her knowledge with us in her You Tube Video's or on her Facebook or Instagram. She is a fantastic mother and friend. She brightens all of our days with her smile and her style. She brings the sparkle to the party and is a true living Vintage Doll!!
Hugs & Love,
Barbie

Chelsea Franklin Says:
February 4th, 2014 at 2:33 am
Truly one of the GREATEST people I've ever known!
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